The countdown to the opening day of the Sisters Farmers Market is on. This Sunday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., market vendors, volunteers, and Seed to Table staff will provide local abundance.

Under new management and increased safety regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors can expect a slightly different experience from years past. What isn’t changing, though, is the opportunity to shop a bounty of local goods, support our hard-working farmers and producers, and tap into the resiliency that this community creates amidst challenging times.

Market management will provide new infrastructure to promote the safety of all participants, and is putting faith in new and returning customers to learn about and adhere to new regulations in order to help protect our community. Social distancing will be in effect, with single entrance and exit points and at least six feet of space between booths and people. Online pre-ordering and curbside pick-up will be an option for even less physical contact. Vendors will be handling all food and will not be giving out samples.

All activities and music will be postponed.

Market-goers are asked to leave pets at home, wear face coverings, and use the available hand washing stations. And perhaps most challenging for some, the market will not be serving as a social gathering, but rather a space to efficiently source local products and essential goods. 

These changes may take some getting used to, especially to long-time market participants, but within our resilient community it is clear that the positives will outweigh the negatives. For one, the Sisters Farmers Market is still able to provide an essential service that is at its core — getting locally-produced goods to shoppers and keeping our dollars and diets local. Online orders may even provide farmers and producers growth in average sales due to increased accessibility. In addition to safety, the market will have a primary focus on food access, with Seed To Table offering discounted produce at their stand for families directly affected by COVID-19.

The mission of the Sisters Farmers Market is to support a healthier community through partnerships, educational programming, and essential infrastructure for organic farmers, artisans, and local food producers. Market Manager, Caroline Hager, shares that she is, “optimistic for the collaboration between all of those involved with the market to see beyond the temporary nuances and unite in these common goals.”

The new educational programming is another positive development being introduced through the market to the community this year.

Each week, Seed to Table will be providing free take-home Activity Kits for elementary-aged youth. These interactive kits will provide children with hands-on activities to sprout their creative minds at home without any screen time. Focusing on science, nutrition, and art, children will develop a deeper understanding of where our food comes from. Follow along with us all summer long to learn how to make a healthy & delicious rainbow snack, learn the life cycle of your favorite veggie by planting it at home, explore your creativity through creating seed collages, and so much more! Children will receive their very own Farmers Market Passport to track their learning throughout the summer. We encourage you to share stories and photos of your child’s learning for a chance to win some monthly prizes at the Sisters Farmers Market!

Questions? Email education@seedtotablesisters.org.